Two-Time Liebster Winner!

 

SO much going on and in the middle of it all TWO of you FABULOUS BLOGGERS awarded me with the Liebster award!  This is awarded to “up and coming” bloggers to make sure they get more traffic and networked with more foodies like themselves!

Thank you to:

Kiri from Healthy Foodie Travels
and
Maggie from Kitchie Coo

So, now it is my honor to award the Liebster to five of my favorite up and coming bloggers.  Lucky me!  These ladies are all fabulous bloggers, recipe creators and chefs.  I am honored to pass this award on to them.

My selections:
Fig Fondue
Julia at Must Come Hungry
Deve at The Malabar Kitchen
Joy at Better Than a Box
Liz at A Chookie Chookie

Okay, now its your turn ladies!  I can’t wait to see who you pass this award on to!!

A Hotel Love Story

I’m a pretty average gal.  I grew up middle class,  met and fell in love with the man of my dreams….my heart skips a beat to this day when I see him….

Just like any girl would say, I believe that I met my soul mate and that no one will ever have a love as deep as the one we have.  But I am more than my marriage.

I am also an individual with a career and goals and dreams.  I have worked as  Catering Director for nearly 7 years at a fantastic 4 diamond hotel.  It is a gorgeous hotel located on the Willamette River overlooking a marina filled with yachts and joyful people.  You cannot help but smile when you look out the windows onto that gorgeous view.  I have always pictured myself staying here for a long time.  I look back and think….those were “glory days” but you HAVE to be honest with yourself.  The economic downturn was a killer.  I lost many colleagues and was the “last man standing” in my department.  I did 2 jobs for over 2 years.  The company, a newer company did not make it through the downturn and had to place a collection of hotels for sale.  About the time I started this blog…..a purchaser stepped forward.  A company that I had previously worked for.  A company that IN FACT, I had been head hunted out of for the current position I held.  (Insert nausea and fear)


The RiverPlace Sales Team – Sales Team of the Year

I always thought of myself as a shining asset…one of the reasons we were successful through the toughness of 2008, 09, 10, and even 11. Meanwhile we are finding that things are going to change, the sales team will be restructured and that it would be a good idea to dust off the resume because there are 2 options:  1.  We are not asked to stay or 2. We are asked to stay and will have a different work structure, boss, company.  So, to be smart, I decided to play it safe.  I opened my eyes outside of my company….tentatively….cautiously…..apprehensively…..sadly. 

Me and my beloved boss Christmas 2010

What do you think happened?  There was a job being vacated by a director who was retiring.  This is the pinnacle of jobs-11 beautiful spaces, a reputation that you can only dream of having, weddings for up to 555 lucky guests!!  I will be straight with you, my 3 readers, that there was no way I thought they would call.  Then they called…and I thought, well, they probably feel like they have to call due to there being so few directors in the city.  I won’t overwhelm you with the details but they are a wonderful company and I started waking up thinking “Oh Please!  Pick me!  I can do this!  I am the girl I AM THE ONE YOU WANT!!”  WELL, I AM THE GIRL!!  The job was offered.  This classy company also allowed me to stay through the last day of ownership with my job and say my proper goodbyes and hugs and tears.  This new company won my heart and trust.

Of course, as Murphy’s Law would insist, I was also offered my current job, which I then had to decline.  Not easy.  I had to openly say that I choose to go elsewhere.  The poignancy of this was NOT lost on me.  Particularly since several of my colleagues, were not offered jobs or were not able to take the offer for one reason or another.

Let me also add something else.  I was able, midway through the process, to talk to my boss, and my bosses boss.  To have them cheer me on, and be happy for me and assist me in the proper way to handle the end of my job or “reign” as I have come to think of it.  To wrap up my office and clients, and organize everything for an incoming individual to be able to step in mid stride and take off and LOVE the job as much as I did.  If everything remained the same, I am fond of saying to myself,  I would stay.  I am so in love with the staff and heart of RPH.  I hope I can take it with me and share that kind of care for the client, and happiness to go to work in my new environment.  No, scratch that..I WILL bring that with me and keep the experience in my heart.

Never say good-bye.  Rather “Until we meet again”  XOXO Missy

A parting gift from the hotel

Steph and Dave

Another 4-Diamond award – 25 years running

Anykka & Christine

Me and Tami

Confetti Cookie Sandwiches

Easy, festive, and happy treats!

Cookies!  Cookies!  I cannot bake enough cookies!  I think I may have a little problem here with all the cookie baking going on……..But this is an AWESOME idea….take an easy cake-textured cookie and make them a sandwich!  An easy, quick treat for any celebration, or just for a Saturday night!  I love these because they are very few ingredients and need very little preparation and make very little mess!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 box funfetti or confetti cake
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
sprinkles galore
1 jar whipped vanilla frosting

Directions:
Mix eggs, cake mix and oil together.  Shape into 2 inch balls and sprinkle with MORE sprinkles and place on an ungreased baking sheet!  Then bake at 350 until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool.  Put about 1 tablespoon frosting between 2 cookies and lightly squish together – I like to sprinkle the edges again for fun.   Ooh la-la – what fun cookies are!!

EAT ME!!!

Slow Cooker Mexican Potato Chili



A Hearty Winter Dinner!

 Sometimes you just need to be comforted.  You need to be warmed up and loved inside your tummy.  I know it is bad form to comfort with food, but meals can be comforting and healthy!  Here is a fabulous Slow-cooker recipe that I dreamt up while trying to figure out a new and delicious lunch for my husband.  I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:
3-4 pounds red potatoes (small to medium size)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 packets taco seasoning
1 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
1 jar favorite salsa

Directions:
Cut potatoes into quarters and place in a large bowl.  Add onions and packet of taco seasoning mix and olive oil together and toss together until entirely coated.  Set aside.  Cook turkey breast until appropriately browned and crumbled – drain then toss in 1/2 packet of taco seasoning mix.  Spray Slow cooker with non stick spray.  Add potato mixture.  Add meat over top.  Pour salsa over the top of the meat, cover and cook on low for 6 hours. 

ONE THING TO CONSIDER:  All crockpots are different – some cook faster, some slower.  At 6 hours this was perfect and did not have any burning or sticking to the bottom, or sides, but keep an eye on it as I have notoced that my cooking times need to be adjusted down with most recipes.

Enjoy!

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips & Walnuts

I had a request…okay, demand for chocolate chip banana bread.  I had the day off burning through some PTO…and my husband actually had the audacity to ask me to make a point of baking this for him.  Since he is so incredibly handsome and buys me presents and rubs my shoulders when they hurt I agreed to do it.  So, yeah, I kinda like the big lug and have no problems with demands like this.  I believe this is the “Magic of Marriage”  So…consider this a devotion to the man I love….Coach Maki.  I found this recipe on epicurious.com!  It was DELICIOUS!!!

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips & Walnuts:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Combine chocolate chips and walnuts in small bowl; add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and toss to coat.
Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter over. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Run knife through batter.
Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 60-65 mins. Turn out onto rack and cool.


Oatmeal Butterscotch Coconut Cookies

The coconut makes these amazingly chewy!

Oh cookies….again I sing a love song to you!  I had so many other things I wanted to bake on Saturday, but I have a rule:  If my husbands basketball team wins by 20 points or more….they get cookies at the next game!  I CANNOT let these guys down and I refuse to keep baking the same thing so basketball season keeps me on my toes!  Well, last night they got their cookies, and one young man came up to me and said he ate 2 cookies walking up the stairs and was eating a final one and that they were really good….so, baking friends and mommies….these are KID-TESTED!  Enjoy!!  Oh.,..and as a post-script….big kids like these too…as in ME!!!  yummy yummy yummy (skipping away with 3 cookies in my hand)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and extracts. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the rolled oats, chips & coconut. Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and press down with a glass
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.